Friday, February 22, 2008

USS Virginia vs. F-22

In an article in today's New London Day, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead, called on Electric Boat and Newport News shipbuilding to reduce the cost of Virginia class submarines from $2.5 billion to $2 billion, and that is in 2005 dollars.

Think about that number for a minute. At $2.5 billion, a Virginia class nuclear attack submarine caries 38 21" diameter weapons, be they torpedoes or missiles. It has 4 torpedo tubes and 12 vertical launching tubes. It has a nuclear reactor, sensors, and it carries a crew of 113, which means it has the berthing for them and the food and stores to operate over great distances.

And for all of that, at $2.5 billion a copy, you could instead buy 10 F-22s (or 14.5 F-35s). If the costs get shaved, as the CNO wants, then that's 8 F-22s (or 10 F-35s). The idea that a nuclear attack submarine costs as much as a handful of fighters seems a little whacked to me.

2 comments:

physioprof said...

Are you saying that the submarine is expensive compared to the planes, or cheap?

The Earth Bound Misfit said...

I'm saying that the planes are atrociously expensive.